A Year in Books – February 2015


A Year in Books

The book I selected in January – Lost Animals by Errol Fuller – was a bit harrowing, which I expected (given the subject matter), but I was a little bit disappointed too.  I wanted to know more about the selected birds and animals – perhaps it is a good thing it left me wanting – acting as a sort of catalyst for further investigation.  Only in the last week I was reminded that there are only five Northern White Rhinos remaining, and all these in captivity.  One of the hopes of the book’s author is that perhaps it will act as a reminder to help us not bludgeon species to extinction in the future.  I think it will need a much more powerful book than this.

Books about Barn Owls

I’ve been reading lots about Barn Owls too.  Barn Owl – Encounters in the Wild by Jim Crumley was an utter delight, and I cried more than once for the sheer beauty of the writing and descriptions of watching wildlife.

Barn Owl book by Jim Crumley

So, to February – my book is We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.  I visited my mother this last week as it was her Birthday, we were talking about books (she is a great reader), and she suggested I might be interested to read it.  I opened the book and at the head of Part One read ‘The storm which blew me out of my past eased off’.  I decided to bring the book home.

Book for February






The Year in Books is an ongoing project started by Circle of Pine Trees which is open to everyone.  The aim of the project is to read (at least) a book a month during 2015. You can join in at any time, full details here.



  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    I may have to find that one. I like the opening line. I read a lot, usually several books a month. I commented on your post last month and you asked what I was reading or something and I wrote a nice long reply that disappeared. I’ll be posting my quarterly book reviews at the end of Feb.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      It caught my imagination Ellen – hope it wasn’t me who lost your reply! Sorry if so, not intentional. I know you read a lot and look forward to your review.

  2. Comment by Penny:

    Hello Jennifer, I read We Are All etc last month, and I absolutely loved it. I will pop back next month to read your review and see what you thought of it X

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Hello thanks for your comment – I’m so enjoying the Year in Books, it is keeping me on track to read more. Pleased to hear you loved We are all…, initially I couldn’t grasp what was going but it is revealing itself cleverly – look forward to comparing notes in March!

  3. Comment by Hannah Corson:

    Love these pictures!!

  4. Comment by sustainablemum:

    That is a good collection of books about Barn Owls, they are beautiful birds. I agree that it will take more than a book to stop us killing animals to extinction but I am sure that every little part helps.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Yes, awareness helps, every little helps – I am hopeful generally – but I do keep hearing ‘lessons will be learned’ stuff, and see the same mistakes repeated.

  5. Comment by Louise:

    These books sound very good – just the kind of thing I’d read. You choice for February had a very intriguing first line, I’ll be interested to hear what you thought of it.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      So good to hear other people’s views about books, I’ve been loving reading all the reviews in The Year in Books – I’ll let you know how I get on with it at the end of the month. Happy reading.

  6. Comment by Christina:

    I find barn owls quite mysterious, I have never actually seen one that was not in captivity. Your barn owl book pile looks very tempting indeed.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      They are full of mystery aren’t they – partly I think because of all the folk-lore, and the sounds they make. Certainly they were mysterious to me, because I didn’t know anything about them, one came and roosted in my workshop, so I really wanted to learn everything I could so as to understand its behaviour and try to watch it – it has been an utterly thrilling thing to see it fly out at night, only yards from where I’m sitting. I was trying to be quiet, and I kept gasping and my heart was thudding!

  7. Comment by Emma:

    What a wonderful selection of Barn Owl books. I am a bit nutty about owls – I will definitely take note of the books in that pile!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      They’re beautiful and informing books, written by people who have studied Barn Owls for many years – also give a really interesting background to how our farming changes have affected them.

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